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Kaitlyn, 8, Victor, 9, and Igor, 10, pose with their snow creations on Monday, as they enjoy the day off from school.

Photo by Eve A. Baker

Blizzard of 2016 aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico

28 Jan 2016 | Adele Uphaus-Conner Marine Corps Base Quantico

The blizzard of 2016 dumped 25 inches of snow on Marine Corps Base Quantico last weekend. The weather station at Marine Corps Air Facility Quantico recorded 15 total inches on Friday and ten on Saturday. According to data provided by the regional Meteorological and Oceanographic (METOC) office, the blizzard, which some nicknamed “Snowzilla,” blew past January’s average five inches of snow and approached the record of 31 total inches for the month.

Peter Streng, assistant chief of staff for base G-3 operations, wrote in an e-mail that the base began preparing for winter weather in late October by making sure enough salt and sand was on hand and personnel were trained. Preparations for this storm began early last week. “We prepped and staged our personnel and equipment and established our contingency response command and control,” Streng wrote. “We also ensured that we were ready and able to provide information and status updates to our tenants and personnel through multiple communications means.”

The department of Public Works on base is responsible for clearing roads and parking lots. Streng said the hardest part of the clean-up is getting the smaller parking lots and side streets cleared.

The Shovel Brigade, made up of Marines from Headquarters and Service Battalion, are responsible for removing snow from sidewalks, walkways, entrances, and exits. Maj. Ross Garnett, Headquarters and Service Battalion’s S-4 officer, said five to 25 Marines worked all day Sunday and Monday using shovels and snow blowers to clear barracks, the commissary, the Marine Corps Exchange, and other areas requested by G-3.

Joseph Riley, deputy police chief in the Provost Marshal Office, said that there were no traffic accidents or injuries related to the snow and ice. Five vehicles were stuck in ditches over the weekend, Riley said, but all were eventually removed by the owners or by tow trucks.

“I think we did a pretty good job with this storm,” Streng wrote. “That being said, we learn something every time we have an event like this,” he continued. “We always conduct an extensive after-action review and will do so for this storm as well.”

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